Volcano's Shadow Forms an Eerie, Perfect Triangle

In a picture of Mount Teide in the Canary Islands, the inactive volcano casts an odd shadow.

Credit: Copyright Juan Carlos Casado (TWAN)

An impressive image revealing the top of a volcano in Spain’s Canary Islands consists of something odd: a shadow of the flat-topped peak forming an ideal triangle.

Professional Photographer Juan Carlos Casado caught the image of Mount Teide, or Pico de Teide, an inactive volcano on the island of Tenerife with a peak that towers 12,000 feet (3,700 meters) above water level. The image was shared on June 9 on NASA’s Astronomy Photo Of the Day(APOD) site.

Though the shadow looks like a pyramid, Mount Teide does not have a pointed peak. Rather, the shadow appears triangular due to the fact that of how our eyes view it relative to the far-off horizon, according to APOD. [The Most Amazing Optical Illusions (and How They Work)]

When artists draw parallel lines extending off into the range along a single aircraft, the lines draw closer to each other up until they assemble at the horizon; this area where they fulfill is referred to as the disappearing point. This takes place when you observe real-life parallel lines, too. For example, if you observe train tracks that continue directly ahead, they appear to draw closer together and fulfill at a main point on the horizon.

A comparable impact is occurring in the image, APOD discussed. In the image, Mount Teide is plainly no pyramid; the Pico Viejo crater flattens the mountain’s peak. Nonetheless, as Mount Teide’s shadow extends into the range, it tapers slowly. In doing so, the shadow ultimately forms a triangular peak, despite the fact that the things casting the shadow isn’t a triangle.

An individual standing on a top throughout daybreak or sundown(when shadows are at their longest) will peer down a passage of shadow; from that point of view, the shadows of mountains or volcanoes almost constantly look like pyramids, according to the U.K. site Climatic Optics This is due to the fact that the shadows are so long that an audience can’t potentially see where they end, so their termination looks like a point on the horizon instead of a real representation of the mountain’s shape, Atmospheric Optics discussed.

Initially released on Live Science